Orbital Velocity Interactive (107.0K)
Do all bodies orbiting at Earth’s distance from the Sun move at the same speed? How would Earth’s orbital velocity differ if the Sun were more or less massive? Is Earth’s velocity greater or smaller than Mars? This Interactive will answer those questions, and make it clear that the orbital velocity of any world depends on only two things: its distance from its star, and the mass of that star.
Given that the mass of the body plays a major role in determining orbital velocity, lets apply it to other bodies such as our Moon.
Newton visualized a huge cannon atop the highest mountain sending a cannonball at 18,000 mph in a constant free fall that matched the curvature of the Earth. Of course, we now know that air resistance means we must get up much higher than Everest with multistage rockets to reach orbital velocity, but it has great application in our study of satellites above us in LEO (low earth orbit), the geosynchoronous communication satellites so vital to the Internet, and the satellites around other planets, and even planets around other stars and star systems.
The satellites around other planets move at different speeds, depending on their distance from their planet and the mass of their home world.
Even planets around other stars and star systems can have their orbital velocities calculated with this powerful formula.